Thermochromic toilet seat

This 2003 toilet seat design solves an age-old problem -- how to visually identify a still-warm toilet seat so you can avoid absorbing the previous user's residual conducted body heat.
200801021120 “Being able to identify a public toilet seat that has just been sat upon (and is thus still warm) is of particular concern to a significant number of the population. Without warning, one can easily sit upon a seat and be instantly repulsed by the trace evidence of a previous user. Conversely, if one is looking for intimate contact with an anonymous stranger without the associated awkwardness of verbal discourse, one could seek out the warm toilet seat. The decision to sit or not to sit is facilitated by the colour change of the seat: orange=cool, yellow=hot. The object retains the heat memory of a previous user and displays it as a visual marker for the next user to assess.”
I would prefer blue=cool, orange=warm, however. Link


  1. If you put aluminum-foil stencils on your butt and thighs before sitting down on one of these, you could leave messages for the next customer!

  2. Why would you want to sit on a cold toilet seat? I’m always thankful to get one that has been pre-warmed.

  3. subscribe to my newsletter to learn how one can get the SARS (and yes, the larry-craigs) via body heat transfer (or BHT). turns out, that viri can be communicated via caloric fluids (i calls ’em phlogistonal viruseses) – it’s all just a form of information, people!

  4. ” The object retains the heat memory of a previous user and displays it as a visual marker for the next user to assess.”

    I’m pretty sure that’s some sort of subtle visual pun.

  5. Who doesn’t lay down a thick padded circle of toilet paper every time a sit-down visit in public is required?

    “Why does it hurt when I pee?” – Frank Zappa

  6. Yay, Hypercolor toilets! I can hear the conversation now:
    “What temperature does brown mean?”
    “It means don’t sit there.”

  7. I just wipe off the obvious pee and sit down. I haven’t gotten cholera yet. Now if it involved another person’s mouth, I’d want it sterilized.

  8. Why the hell would they choose yellow? Who in their right mind would sit on a yellow toiletseat??

  9. I love to confront people with the fact that the paper ass-gaskets offer only psychological protection and are no different than sitting on the plain seat.

    I, for one, lick doorknobs and never wash my hands … so there!

  10. “I would prefer blue=cool, orange=warm, however. ”

    Problem with that, of course, is that during the ‘cool down’, it’d have to go from orange to blue… and possibly pass through the dreaded warm neutral –> cool neutral area.

    Orange – brown – gray – blue.

    Yeah. How about green for Go, white for ‘OMG, THE MRSA’?

  11. Or just cover half of it– that would REALLY confuse the next guy.

    I dunno, Dave. Sounds like a pretty half-assed idea to me.

  12. No matter what colour the seat the fact remains that a large number of asses carrying a vast array of Eldritch nasties have sat on every toilet seat in existence. The Japanese have the right idea, they have toilets designed so that you have to hover, just like squatting in the bushes on the side of the highway.

  13. This problem does not exist in Japan. Here almost all homes and places with public toilets have heated seats. It’s just one feature of the washlet toilets which are the norm.

    When I first came to Japan I thought it was weird but now I find the shock of a unexpectedly freezing toilet seat much more disturbing.

    The only drawback is finding a toilet in the middle of summer where you can’t adjust the temperature setting.

  14. Are people so OCD/misanthropic that they object to the warmth of other human beings? These same people will appreciate human warmth when they’re too old to wipe their own arses and need someone else to do it for them. Besides, the relative warmth or coolness of the seat bears no relation to its cleanliness.

  15. “tally the number of patrons that sit down on the toilet seat” Ok velvetmantis that is intersting. I would like to see that… yet, it detect that I would be grossed out at the large numbers.

  16. Puts me in mind of the time back in my college days when Harrison Ford had lunch in the restaurant where I worked (this would be the summer of 1981). Right after he left, a waitress ran to his just-vacated chair, sat down, and exclaimed “It’s still warm! I can feel Harrison Ford’s BUTT HEAT!”

    This anecdote would have been way cooler had it involved a toilet seat, of course.

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